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Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Big Fat Bucilla Obsession - the evolution of a stocking






So, as most of those who pay any attention to me at all know, this past year or so I have found a new obsession that I should have found a LONG time ago. Bucilla Felt Stocking Kits. I just love these and I went a bit crazy when I found them when my darling granddaughter Tori was born. I was looking for a unique baby's first stocking for her for her first Christmas and came across the Bucilla kits. That was it. Smitten. Love at first sight. Instant addiction. Well, Tori is now 14 months old and I have done these stockings:


This is the one that started it all - that is my baby granddaughter with Santa in this picture. This is the first one that I made and it is almost funny how just a few stockings later, I can see all kinds of things here I would have done differently.



This is the one I did for my husband. He loves to feed the birds and his favorite bird is the cardinal so when I saw this stocking, it had to be his. The snowflakes drove me crazy, just for the record. This is where I learned how important it is to have very sharp little scissors.




This one is the next one I did for a family friend - her family had to move out of state and most of their things were put into storage, including this sweet girl's Christmas stocking. I was told it wasn't anything special anyway, just a plain red one. That's all I had to hear and this was the next one. Her Mom sent me a video of her opening the box and that made every single stitch worth it. She was so happy and she loved it so much - when you put love in, you get love back. 



This next one I made for my son in law. I am always making things for my daughter (his wife and Tori's daddy) but I don't think I've ever made anything just for Rob. That has now changed. They affectionately call each other bears - Tori is their baby bear cub - when I saw this stocking, it had to be Rob's and now it is. 




So, while I am busy making things for Tori and my daughter and her family and her friends, I need to remember that I do have a son as well. A beautiful boy who I love more than life itself. This is his stocking. He loved the design, said it had all the right elements for Christmas, from the iconic images to the idea of everyone helping and to top it off....a penguin! He and his girl Marie love penguins so this was a perfect stocking for him.


And now you are all caught up! The next stocking on deck was the one for my daughter, which is almost done. Here is the evolution of a stocking -

This is the stocking I picked for my daughter - she loves snowmen and it's just so sparkly and pretty - I know she will love it.


I also got her the matching tree skirt - I have yet to even contemplate doing this. I don't expect I will have it done for at least another year so maybe by Christmas 2016. We will see.

So I outgrew that little Tinkerbell tin in the background. Way too much thread for such a small box, so off to Ebay to buy an old German cookie tin. PERFECT!!


I also have this "sleeve" that I keep all the instructions and felt pieces in while I am working. It is just poster board (O-tag we called it in school) that has been folded and taped. I keep the current project picture I am working on on top, and as I finish them, I just tape the new one on top so I actually have all of the stockings I have done, instructions and picture, in and on this sleeve. Its very handy. Note Ive taped the top with duct tape to keep it from tearing. It keeps me organized and all my felt pieces safe.


I also made this little "wallet" to keep my pins, needles, scissors and tweezers in. I just used cardboard, three pieces, covered them in black felt on the inside and cotten material on the outside. I added small sleeves for the scissors and tweezers, and a snap closure. Its perfect for keeping my sharp stuff safely stashed between sewing sessions.




Ok!!! Ready - Set - Go! Here I am finishing up the border of leaves and berries. Now, Bucilla instructions say just to cut out the berries and leaves and tack them on with a stitch or two. That is just not good enough. Raw felt edges get ratty VERY fast, so I cut my own backings to all the berries and leaves and sew them together to make a finished piece






Progress pic - you can see how nice the leaves look with full backings and borders. 


The same goes for the scarf. If it were up to Bucilla, there would be no backing to the top scarf piece. The bottom is ok, as that is fully sewn down to the snowman, but the top one is "flapping" in the breeze with all the stitching visible on the back. No good!


Here you can see the back I made for the scarf. Much cleaner, neater and it will last much longer.




Here is progress on the candy work. I must say that I made soooooo soooo so VERY many mistakes on this stocking - see that candy cane? I was supposed to have embroidered stripes in between the sequined felt stripes. At first I was just going to leave it, but I just couldn't.


I also wanted to jazz up this lollypop a bit, so I used the blingy metalic thread I had bought just cause it was so shiny!! It is NOT easy to work with but it is so worth the effort.



Much better with the bling, no?



Progress shot - getting there!! The arms have pipe cleaners inside of them - I was a bit annoyed with Bucilla for making a kit that called for them but did not include them. I bought a bag of them and now have them in my tin in case I need them again. These are not fully sewn down, there will be candy canes hung off the arms and lollipops in the "hands", so the pipe cleaners are inside to give them a bit of strength. I must say they worked out nicely.



And this is where I am at tonight, 2/9/15. Note I have "fixed" the candy cane that was missing it's embroidered stripes - I finished the candy cane for the one arm and am working on the other. That is all I have left is to finish that candy cane, tack them both down adn then do the large one with my daughter's name embroidered on it. After that it is just the lining and back of the stocking to do. 


And that is another Bucilla issue - they only give you a white backing for the stocking and they expect you to just sew that on and be done. Take a look at this hot mess. How in the WORLD do they expect you to just leave that entire back exposed?? Really??? Ridiculous. I have a huge bolt of green felt that I use to make my own backs. I use the white they give you for the liner and then make my own back. 


And there you have it - the evolution of a stocking and an obsession chronicled and captured for all the world to see. I have so very many more of these kits to finish - maybe next post will just be a list of all the ones I have in my Bucilla stash box waiting for their turn on the dining room table. I also plan on attempting a custom felt stocking for my husband this year - he is a Grateful Dead "head" and while I have the Hippie Santa stocking kit, that somehow got allocated to his sister so I have to come up with another and I think its time I tried a custom stocking. Dancing Bears and Turtles and Skulls and Roses, oh my!! Don't worry, I'll be sure to take you all on what promises to be a long strange trip, indeed! 

Till next time, dear readers - much love and peace and hugs to you all!!!


9 comments:

  1. What a lot of stitching, but very pretty & will make long last memories for your family & friends.
    Can`t wait to see the Grateful Dead stocking,Phyllis

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and catching up, Phyllis!! I also can't wait to get started on that GD stocking - I think I have a plan but we will see! :)

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  2. I just did a quick glance at this post a few weeks ago...I came back today to get all the details. All of your stockings are gorgeous and I am so glad I am not the only addicted to these adorable kit! I would love to see what kits you are hoarding for future use!

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    1. Hi Debbie! Thank you so much for coming back for a second look and for commenting!! Thank you so much for the kind words and yes, it is VERY nice to know I have company in this obsession of mine! I will definately take a moment this weekend to photograph my pending kits and post them, along with a picture of the finished stocking featured in this post. I have yet to start a new one, trying to get some sculptural art in before the sewing bug takes hold again. :) Thanks again!!

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    2. And I just realized who you are, Debbie!! You are the ANGEL that posted those YouTube videos showing how to do a Bucilla stocking! You are the one that gave me the courage to actually do my first stocking!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for those videos!! The kits can be VERY intimidating, but you made it look actually do-able and you see the result? YOU'VE CREATED A MONSTER!! LOL! Thank you again!! Oh my goodness, I feel like my fairy godmother has paid me a visit! Much love from NY, Debbie!!! I'll get those pending kits posted this weekend for sure!

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  3. Wow! So beautiful work. I'm only on my first stocking, but already addicted. I'm glad to see I'm not alone. I'm so addicted that I worry that they'll stop making kits!! I'm also from NY. Upstate NY.

    P.S. It's amazing that Debbie commented on your work because I've also watched all her videos!

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  4. Hello there, I have done these stocking kits since the 70's and love doing them, although I haven't done any since the 90's. Were you smart like I was and photocopied the pattern? I photocopied my felt pieces so I could use the pattern over and over again. I have a number of patterns if you would like to trade. I only need the instruction pages and the placement of the felt. Please contact if interested in swapping, I know these are copy right however, I am on disability and looking for something to do over this long winter. My email address is loriritchie12@gmail.com

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  5. Hi. So I am not new to Bucilla. A bit hooked myself. But I'm having a problem. I'm making a wreath...and trying to attach stuffed pieces(trees) to the already stuffed wreath is making me crazy. Any tips you can share? Debating taking the back off and the stuffing out and putting it back when I'm done! Your thoughts? Thanks!

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  6. What a neat post! I am definitely going to look for (or make) a wallet for my sharp tools. I have zero sewing background, but, after two years of on and off work, I am almost finished with my very first Bucilla stocking, which happens to be the one you made for your son. I am making it for my mother, who made one for me when I was born and then for my brothers but never had one of her own. This stocking seems to be one of the more complicated ones - I like to think that the only Christmas elements missing from it are the Holy Family and a nutcracker. i have enjoyed making this one immensely, and already have three more kits to do. As a beginner, I have a couple of questions: First, what do you use the tweezers for? Second, do you have any tips for cleaning Bucilla stockings? The white back of the stocking my mother made for me in 1980 is very dirty, but I am worried the felt colors will run if they get wet. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated!

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